Monday, January 14, 2008

WoW Temptations: Introduction

World of Warcraft is famous for its addictiveness.

Humorously to me, the first time I thought about the game this year was not when my brother convinced me to start playing but a few months earlier when I visited my sister and her family in their small town in Minnesota. Their local nice hotel is part of the nearby casino. The few times I walked from my hotel room to the restaurant I passed people playing slot machines and thought to myself, "Haven't these people heard of World of Warcraft?" Why would anyone do something as boring and solitary as play a slot machine when there were other addictions available that were so much cheaper and more fun?

Now that I have played the game, I have seen that the "core" of the game is actually not addictive at all. Ask anyone who just finished collecting four Marsh Walker tendrils! Most quests are repetitive and not very exciting, and most of what a new player does is quests.

However, the game presents a complex and well-developed setting and social community. There are many ways this setting and community create temptations. And any temptation can be addictive.

As a pastoral counselor I find it very interesting how the various temptations within the game world are similar to real life issues and provide insight about human nature and struggles.

So I have a lot to write about insights I've gained by playing World of Warcraft. But it seems fitting, giving the game's reputation, to start by taking about the game world's temptations and what these show about human nature.

To avoid an absurdly long blog post, I'll format this topic as a series. Enjoy!

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